Before or after your boat tour of Newport Harbor with Gansett Cruises, here is a short list of points of interest that are all walking distance from our Bowen’s Wharf location on the waterfront.
Save The Bay’s Exploration Center and Aquarium, 175 Memorial Boulevard
Currently located at the Easton’s Beach Rotunda, the aquarium will soon be renamed and relocated to the Hamilton Family Aquarium on America’s Cup Avenue. You’ll be delighted with this hands-on, sustainable, interactive marine science center inhabited by a menagerie of local species and rescued animals. Additionally the facility supports marine nursery and breeding programs. This non-profit features three touch tanks and dozens of exhibits focusing on skates, sharks, seahorses, and more.
Since its grassroots founding in 1970, Save the Bay has been working hard to promote the health of the waters of Narragansett Bay. Other offerings are seal watching and lighthouse tours.
Cardines Field, 20 America’s Cup Avenue
“Over the years many baseball legends have graced Cardines Field, including Jimmy Foxx, Larry Doby, Lou Gorman and Satchel Paige, who sat in a rocking chair between the hockey-style dugouts thinking up new names for his many pitches. Folklore has it that Babe Ruth once toed the batter’s box and rubber at Cardines.”
In 1908 a swampy area abutting the railroad tracks was filled in to create a sandlot used by off-duty railroad workers. Named after the first Newporter to die in World War I, Cardines Field has been hosting America’s National Pastime for well over a century. Since 1919, Cardines has hosted the “oldest established amateur league in the US, the George S. Donnelly Sunset League.” Once the City of Newport purchased the property, the sandlot was rapidly transformed into one of the finest stone façade stadiums in the country, alongside Wrigley, Fenway, and Ebbett’s Field. Cardines boasts the country’s oldest known existing backstop. Today it’s the summer home of Newport’s New England Collegiate Baseball team, the Gulls.
Seamen’s Church Institute, 18 Market Square
For 104 years the Seamen’s Church Institute has been a safe harbor providing camaraderie and assistance to the Newport community and for visitors who arrive by sea. Opened in 1919, its mission was to “provide work for the moral and mental improvement…(of) those who are employed upon or in connection with the sea in any part of the world or upon the inland waters of the United States…” The tradition of serving mariners continues to this day.
A fun rainy-day pursuit at the Seamen’s is the Discovery Deck, a kid-friendly interactive exhibit with STEAM content that brings to life the new Blue Economy. Learn about boat building, commercial fishing, and environmental concerns affecting Rhode Island waters. Get hands-on at the block and tackle station, maker-space, energy grinder, or sand table. By appointment only. Call 401-847-4260
The Seamen’s is also home to a beautiful wood-paneled maritime library, a memorial garden, artworks, and the Chapel of the Sea. Double-occupancy guest quarters, the Crow’s Nest, is open to the public and overlooks Market Square and historic Newport Harbor.
The Sailing Museum, 365 Thames Street
Located within a historic armory building dating back to 1894, this is a portal into the world of sailing! Get ready to experience Legends of Sailing: National Sailing Hall of Fame and the America’s Cup Hall of Fame, for newbies and old salts alike. Throughout the 6 sections, the “interactive educational exhibits provide real-world applications of STEAM concepts that come alive through sailing; visitors of all ages… experience the magic that happens when wind and water meet.”
One of the The Sailing Museum’s thematic areas is the Wind and Water experience: “Select a boat and set off on your museum adventure beginning with the basic elements, wind and water. Learn about points of sail, ocean stewardship, the anatomy of a boat, and try your hand at designing your own boat!”
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